Fishing: There’s still time to cash in on mackerel season

Tantallon Beach, East Lothian. Pic: Nigel Duncan
Tantallon Beach, East Lothian. Pic: Nigel Duncan
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The mackerel season started late in the Firth of Forth and that means a bonus for local anglers.

Dolphins have forced mackerel upriver towards Edinburgh according to Dunbar-based Trevor Springford, skipper of the Andara II, but there are other hot spots, including the East Lothian coastline. There are, however, sizeable numbers of pollock in fine condition, with good catches reported. Wrasse as well as cod are also in evidence in the tideway.

Jane McMinn of Braveheart Charters in North Berwick explained that the normal mackerel season is from the end of June until late September.

Mackerel can be caught from the shore – Granton Pier is a popular place – and some of the best spots in East Lothian are from near the Platcock Rocks, the harbour pier end in North Berwick and the remains of Galloway Pier, which was once used by pleasure craft from Leith, Portobello, Elie and Leven.

Incidentally, pleasure cruises stopped in 1914 because of the First World War and the Galloway Pier was put up for sale in 1919 with no takers.

Mackerel are attracted to lines with multiple hooks, on spinners or feathers, and cod are also in evidence in the area below Tantallon Castle. Pollok, wrasse and codling can also be claimed. Lugworm is a good bait and you can dig your own at low tide if you are quick. Cut up mackerel, prawns, frozen can do, or squid will do but the best chance of catching is from a boat where the skipper knows the best areas

Over to stilwaters now, and it’s been a challenging week with high wind and driving rain for trout fishermen in various fisheries including Harlaw and Threipmuir, where the water is low, Loganlea and Morton.

Karen Jack at Loganlea reports that during calmer periods dry flies were working well with daddies and hoppers both attracting interest. Fish, she said, were going deeper, but one boat returned 20 trout, fishing at around 16ft deep, and another released 16 fish and caught a similar number on daddies one morning but lures and snakes worked best later.

John Mackay at Morton said that fish were being caught with white muddler, daddies and crunchers and diawl bach patterns proving popular.